I forgot to mention in my previous Eastercon post the Bartitsu ("The Martial Art of Sherlock Holmes") lecture that we went to. This, it must be said, started slow (and the speaker did a good impression of someone who had been drafted in to talk on the topic at the last minute and was making the best he could from a frantic Google and the discovery of bartitsu.org
). However it was interesting to see that Victorian Orientalism also extended to the adoption and adaptation of Eastern Martial Arts nearly a hundred years before the craze resurfaced in the West (experts will now tell me there was a continuous Karate/Judo/Jujitsu/etc tradition in the UK from then onwards). Bartitsu, as a word is a conflation of the surname of Edward William Barton-Wright (who cobbled it together from every Martial Art tradition he could get his hands on, in so far as I could tell) and Jujitsu which was one of its major components.
Most of the talk was an interesting, if not terribly exciting, tour around the Victorian criminal scene, the European components of Bartitsu (specifically Queensbury and pre-Queensbury fist fighting rules) and a discussion of exactly which Jujitsu hold Holmes might have used on Moriarty. Then the topic of women's self defense came up.
The speaker admitted to some qualms about the whole area of self-defense for women, based around the observation that you need a lot
of skill to compensate for deficiencies in weight and strength. But he had had a revelation when he looked at Bartitsu:( namely the use of the umbrella )
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